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  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201100211602
    Description:

    This article attempts to answer the three questions appearing in the title. It starts by discussing unique features of complex survey data not shared by other data sets, which require special attention but suggest a large variety of diverse inference procedures. Next a large number of different approaches proposed in the literature for handling these features are reviewed with discussion on their merits and limitations. The approaches differ in the conditions underlying their use, additional data required for their application, goodness of fit testing, the inference objectives that they accommodate, statistical efficiency, computational demands, and the skills required from analysts fitting the model. The last part of the paper presents simulation results, which compare the approaches when estimating linear regression coefficients from a stratified sample in terms of bias, variance, and coverage rates. It concludes with a short discussion of pending issues.

    Release date: 2011-12-21

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201100211603
    Description:

    In many sample surveys there are items requesting binary response (e.g., obese, not obese) from a number of small areas. Inference is required about the probability for a positive response (e.g., obese) in each area, the probability being the same for all individuals in each area and different across areas. Because of the sparseness of the data within areas, direct estimators are not reliable, and there is a need to use data from other areas to improve inference for a specific area. Essentially, a priori the areas are assumed to be similar, and a hierarchical Bayesian model, the standard beta-binomial model, is a natural choice. The innovation is that a practitioner may have much-needed additional prior information about a linear combination of the probabilities. For example, a weighted average of the probabilities is a parameter, and information can be elicited about this parameter, thereby making the Bayesian paradigm appropriate. We have modified the standard beta-binomial model for small areas to incorporate the prior information on the linear combination of the probabilities, which we call a constraint. Thus, there are three cases. The practitioner (a) does not specify a constraint, (b) specifies a constraint and the parameter completely, and (c) specifies a constraint and information which can be used to construct a prior distribution for the parameter. The griddy Gibbs sampler is used to fit the models. To illustrate our method, we use an example on obesity of children in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in which the small areas are formed by crossing school (middle, high), ethnicity (white, black, Mexican) and gender (male, female). We use a simulation study to assess some of the statistical features of our method. We have shown that the gain in precision beyond (a) is in the order with (b) larger than (c).

    Release date: 2011-12-21

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201100111446
    Description:

    Small area estimation based on linear mixed models can be inefficient when the underlying relationships are non-linear. In this paper we introduce SAE techniques for variables that can be modelled linearly following a non-linear transformation. In particular, we extend the model-based direct estimator of Chandra and Chambers (2005, 2009) to data that are consistent with a linear mixed model in the logarithmic scale, using model calibration to define appropriate weights for use in this estimator. Our results show that the resulting transformation-based estimator is both efficient and robust with respect to the distribution of the random effects in the model. An application to business survey data demonstrates the satisfactory performance of the method.

    Release date: 2011-06-29

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201100111451
    Description:

    In the calibration method proposed by Deville and Särndal (1992), the calibration equations take only exact estimates of auxiliary variable totals into account. This article examines other parameters besides totals for calibration. Parameters that are considered complex include the ratio, median or variance of auxiliary variables.

    Release date: 2011-06-29

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X201000111250
    Description:

    We propose a Bayesian Penalized Spline Predictive (BPSP) estimator for a finite population proportion in an unequal probability sampling setting. This new method allows the probabilities of inclusion to be directly incorporated into the estimation of a population proportion, using a probit regression of the binary outcome on the penalized spline of the inclusion probabilities. The posterior predictive distribution of the population proportion is obtained using Gibbs sampling. The advantages of the BPSP estimator over the Hájek (HK), Generalized Regression (GR), and parametric model-based prediction estimators are demonstrated by simulation studies and a real example in tax auditing. Simulation studies show that the BPSP estimator is more efficient, and its 95% credible interval provides better confidence coverage with shorter average width than the HK and GR estimators, especially when the population proportion is close to zero or one or when the sample is small. Compared to linear model-based predictive estimators, the BPSP estimators are robust to model misspecification and influential observations in the sample.

    Release date: 2010-06-29

  • Articles and reports: 11-536-X200900110806
    Description:

    Recent work using a pseudo empirical likelihood (EL) method for finite population inferences with complex survey data focused primarily on a single survey sample, non-stratified or stratified, with considerable effort devoted to computational procedures. In this talk we present a pseudo empirical likelihood approach to inference from multiple surveys and multiple-frame surveys, two commonly encountered problems in survey practice. We show that inferences about the common parameter of interest and the effective use of various types of auxiliary information can be conveniently carried out through the constrained maximization of joint pseudo EL function. We obtain asymptotic results which are used for constructing the pseudo EL ratio confidence intervals, either using a chi-square approximation or a bootstrap calibration. All related computational problems can be handled using existing algorithms on stratified sampling after suitable re-formulation.

    Release date: 2009-08-11

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X200800110606
    Description:

    Data from election polls in the US are typically presented in two-way categorical tables, and there are many polls before the actual election in November. For example, in the Buckeye State Poll in 1998 for governor there are three polls, January, April and October; the first category represents the candidates (e.g., Fisher, Taft and other) and the second category represents the current status of the voters (likely to vote and not likely to vote for governor of Ohio). There is a substantial number of undecided voters for one or both categories in all three polls, and we use a Bayesian method to allocate the undecided voters to the three candidates. This method permits modeling different patterns of missingness under ignorable and nonignorable assumptions, and a multinomial-Dirichlet model is used to estimate the cell probabilities which can help to predict the winner. We propose a time-dependent nonignorable nonresponse model for the three tables. Here, a nonignorable nonresponse model is centered on an ignorable nonresponse model to induce some flexibility and uncertainty about ignorabilty or nonignorability. As competitors we also consider two other models, an ignorable and a nonignorable nonresponse model. These latter two models assume a common stochastic process to borrow strength over time. Markov chain Monte Carlo methods are used to fit the models. We also construct a parameter that can potentially be used to predict the winner among the candidates in the November election.

    Release date: 2008-06-26

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X200600110392
    Description:

    We use a robust Bayesian method to analyze data with possibly nonignorable nonresponse and selection bias. A robust logistic regression model is used to relate the response indicators (Bernoulli random variable) to the covariates, which are available for everyone in the finite population. This relationship can adequately explain the difference between respondents and nonrespondents for the sample. This robust model is obtained by expanding the standard logistic regression model to a mixture of Student's distributions, thereby providing propensity scores (selection probability) which are used to construct adjustment cells. The nonrespondents' values are filled in by drawing a random sample from a kernel density estimator, formed from the respondents' values within the adjustment cells. Prediction uses a linear spline rank-based regression of the response variable on the covariates by areas, sampling the errors from another kernel density estimator; thereby further robustifying our method. We use Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to fit our model. The posterior distribution of a quantile of the response variable is obtained within each sub-area using the order statistic over all the individuals (sampled and nonsampled). We compare our robust method with recent parametric methods

    Release date: 2008-03-17

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X200600110398
    Description:

    The study of longitudinal data is vital in terms of accurately observing changes in responses of interest for individuals, communities, and larger populations over time. Linear mixed effects models (for continuous responses observed over time) and generalized linear mixed effects models and generalized estimating equations (for more general responses such as binary or count data observed over time) are the most popular techniques used for analyzing longitudinal data from health studies, though, as with all modeling techniques, these approaches have limitations, partly due to their underlying assumptions. In this review paper, we will discuss some advances, including curve-based techniques, which make modeling longitudinal data more flexible. Three examples will be presented from the health literature utilizing these more flexible procedures, with the goal of demonstrating that some otherwise difficult questions can be reasonably answered when analyzing complex longitudinal data in population health studies.

    Release date: 2008-03-17

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X200600110419
    Description:

    Health services research generally relies on observational data to compare outcomes of patients receiving different therapies. Comparisons of patient groups in observational studies may be biased, in that outcomes differ due to both the effects of treatment and the effects of patient prognosis. In some cases, especially when data are collected on detailed clinical risk factors, these differences can be controlled for using statistical or epidemiological methods. In other cases, when unmeasured characteristics of the patient population affect both the decision to provide therapy and the outcome, these differences cannot be removed using standard techniques. Use of health administrative data requires particular cautions in undertaking observational studies since important clinical information does not exist. We discuss several statistical and epidemiological approaches to remove overt (measurable) and hidden (unmeasurable) bias in observational studies. These include regression model-based case-mix adjustment, propensity-based matching, redefining the exposure variable of interest, and the econometric technique of instrumental variable (IV) analysis. These methods are illustrated using examples from the medical literature including prediction of one-year mortality following heart attack; the return to health care spending in higher spending U.S. regions in terms of clinical and financial benefits; and the long-term survival benefits of invasive cardiac management of heart attack patients. It is possible to use health administrative data for observational studies provided careful attention is paid to addressing issues of reverse causation and unmeasured confounding.

    Release date: 2008-03-17
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  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800254956
    Description:

    In Italy, the Labor Force Survey (LFS) is conducted quarterly by the National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) to produce estimates of the labor force status of the population at different geographical levels. In particular, ISTAT provides LFS estimates of employed and unemployed counts for local Labor Market Areas (LMAs). LMAs are 611 sub-regional clusters of municipalities and are unplanned domains for which direct estimates have overly large sampling errors. This implies the need of Small Area Estimation (SAE) methods. In this paper, we develop a new area level SAE method that uses a Latent Markov Model (LMM) as linking model. In LMMs, the characteristic of interest, and its evolution in time, is represented by a latent process that follows a Markov chain, usually of first order. Therefore, areas are allowed to change their latent state across time. The proposed model is applied to quarterly data from the LFS for the period 2004 to 2014 and fitted within a hierarchical Bayesian framework using a data augmentation Gibbs sampler. Estimates are compared with those obtained by the classical Fay-Herriot model, by a time-series area level SAE model, and on the basis of data coming from the 2011 Population Census.

    Release date: 2018-12-20

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201800154928
    Description:

    A two-phase process was used by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to estimate the proportion of US adults with serious mental illness (SMI). The first phase was the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), while the second phase was a random subsample of adult respondents to the NSDUH. Respondents to the second phase of sampling were clinically evaluated for serious mental illness. A logistic prediction model was fit to this subsample with the SMI status (yes or no) determined by the second-phase instrument treated as the dependent variable and related variables collected on the NSDUH from all adults as the model’s explanatory variables. Estimates were then computed for SMI prevalence among all adults and within adult subpopulations by assigning an SMI status to each NSDUH respondent based on comparing his (her) estimated probability of having SMI to a chosen cut point on the distribution of the predicted probabilities. We investigate alternatives to this standard cut point estimator such as the probability estimator. The latter assigns an estimated probability of having SMI to each NSDUH respondent. The estimated prevalence of SMI is the weighted mean of those estimated probabilities. Using data from NSDUH and its subsample, we show that, although the probability estimator has a smaller mean squared error when estimating SMI prevalence among all adults, it has a greater tendency to be biased at the subpopulation level than the standard cut point estimator.

    Release date: 2018-06-21

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700254872
    Description:

    This note discusses the theoretical foundations for the extension of the Wilson two-sided coverage interval to an estimated proportion computed from complex survey data. The interval is shown to be asymptotically equivalent to an interval derived from a logistic transformation. A mildly better version is discussed, but users may prefer constructing a one-sided interval already in the literature.

    Release date: 2017-12-21

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201700114822
    Description:

    We use a Bayesian method to infer about a finite population proportion when binary data are collected using a two-fold sample design from small areas. The two-fold sample design has a two-stage cluster sample design within each area. A former hierarchical Bayesian model assumes that for each area the first stage binary responses are independent Bernoulli distributions, and the probabilities have beta distributions which are parameterized by a mean and a correlation coefficient. The means vary with areas but the correlation is the same over areas. However, to gain some flexibility we have now extended this model to accommodate different correlations. The means and the correlations have independent beta distributions. We call the former model a homogeneous model and the new model a heterogeneous model. All hyperparameters have proper noninformative priors. An additional complexity is that some of the parameters are weakly identified making it difficult to use a standard Gibbs sampler for computation. So we have used unimodal constraints for the beta prior distributions and a blocked Gibbs sampler to perform the computation. We have compared the heterogeneous and homogeneous models using an illustrative example and simulation study. As expected, the two-fold model with heterogeneous correlations is preferred.

    Release date: 2017-06-22

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600214662
    Description:

    Two-phase sampling designs are often used in surveys when the sampling frame contains little or no auxiliary information. In this note, we shed some light on the concept of invariance, which is often mentioned in the context of two-phase sampling designs. We define two types of invariant two-phase designs: strongly invariant and weakly invariant two-phase designs. Some examples are given. Finally, we describe the implications of strong and weak invariance from an inference point of view.

    Release date: 2016-12-20

  • Articles and reports: 12-001-X201600114545
    Description:

    The estimation of quantiles is an important topic not only in the regression framework, but also in sampling theory. A natural alternative or addition to quantiles are expectiles. Expectiles as a generalization of the mean have become popular during the last years as they not only give a more detailed picture of the data than the ordinary mean, but also can serve as a basis to calculate quantiles by using their close relationship. We show, how to estimate expectiles under sampling with unequal probabilities and how expectiles can be used to estimate the distribution function. The resulting fitted distribution function estimator can be inverted leading to quantile estimates. We run a simulation study to investigate and compare the efficiency of the expectile based estimator.

    Release date: 2016-06-22

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014704
    Description:

    We identify several research areas and topics for methodological research in official statistics. We argue why these are important, and why these are the most important ones for official statistics. We describe the main topics in these research areas and sketch what seems to be the most promising ways to address them. Here we focus on: (i) Quality of National accounts, in particular the rate of growth of GNI (ii) Big data, in particular how to create representative estimates and how to make the most of big data when this is difficult or impossible. We also touch upon: (i) Increasing timeliness of preliminary and final statistical estimates (ii) Statistical analysis, in particular of complex and coherent phenomena. These topics are elements in the present Strategic Methodological Research Program that has recently been adopted at Statistics Netherlands

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014713
    Description:

    Big data is a term that means different things to different people. To some, it means datasets so large that our traditional processing and analytic systems can no longer accommodate them. To others, it simply means taking advantage of existing datasets of all sizes and finding ways to merge them with the goal of generating new insights. The former view poses a number of important challenges to traditional market, opinion, and social research. In either case, there are implications for the future of surveys that are only beginning to be explored.

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014727
    Description:

    "Probability samples of near-universal frames of households and persons, administered standardized measures, yielding long multivariate data records, and analyzed with statistical procedures reflecting the design – these have been the cornerstones of the empirical social sciences for 75 years. That measurement structure have given the developed world almost all of what we know about our societies and their economies. The stored survey data form a unique historical record. We live now in a different data world than that in which the leadership of statistical agencies and the social sciences were raised. High-dimensional data are ubiquitously being produced from Internet search activities, mobile Internet devices, social media, sensors, retail store scanners, and other devices. Some estimate that these data sources are increasing in size at the rate of 40% per year. Together their sizes swamp that of the probability-based sample surveys. Further, the state of sample surveys in the developed world is not healthy. Falling rates of survey participation are linked with ever-inflated costs of data collection. Despite growing needs for information, the creation of new survey vehicles is hampered by strained budgets for official statistical agencies and social science funders. These combined observations are unprecedented challenges for the basic paradigm of inference in the social and economic sciences. This paper discusses alternative ways forward at this moment in history. "

    Release date: 2016-03-24

  • Articles and reports: 11-522-X201700014738
    Description:

    In the standard design approach to missing observations, the construction of weight classes and calibration are used to adjust the design weights for the respondents in the sample. Here we use these adjusted weights to define a Dirichlet distribution which can be used to make inferences about the population. Examples show that the resulting procedures have better performance properties than the standard methods when the population is skewed.

    Release date: 2016-03-24
Reference (16)

Reference (16) (10 to 20 of 16 results)

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015650
    Description:

    The U.S. Manufacturing Plant Ownership Change Database (OCD) was constructed using plant-level data taken from the Census Bureau's Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). It contains data on all manufacturing plants that have experienced ownership change at least once during the period 1963-92. This paper reports the status of the OCD and discuss its research possibilities. For an empirical demonstration, data taken from the database are used to study the effects of ownership changes on plant closure.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 11-522-X19990015658
    Description:

    Radon, a naturally occurring gas found at some level in most homes, is an established risk factor for human lung cancer. The U.S. National Research Council (1999) has recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of the health risks of residential exposure to radon, and developed models for projecting radon lung cancer risks in the general population. This analysis suggests that radon may play a role in the etiology of 10-15% of all lung cancer cases in the United States, although these estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty. In this article, we present a partial analysis of uncertainty and variability in estimates of lung cancer risk due to residential exposure to radon in the United States using a general framework for the analysis of uncertainty and variability that we have developed previously. Specifically, we focus on estimates of the age-specific excess relative risk (ERR) and lifetime relative risk (LRR), both of which vary substantially among individuals.

    Release date: 2000-03-02

  • Geographic files and documentation: 92F0138M1993001
    Geography: Canada
    Description:

    The Geography Divisions of Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have commenced a cooperative research program in order to foster an improved and expanded perspective on geographic areas and their relevance. One of the major objectives is to determine a common geographic area to form a geostatistical basis for cross-border research, analysis and mapping.

    This report, which represents the first stage of the research, provides a list of comparable pairs of Canadian and U.S. standard geographic areas based on current definitions. Statistics Canada and the U.S. Bureau of the Census have two basic types of standard geographic entities: legislative/administrative areas (called "legal" entities in the U.S.) and statistical areas.

    The preliminary pairing of geographic areas are based on face-value definitions only. The definitions are based on the June 4, 1991 Census of Population and Housing for Canada and the April 1, 1990 Census of Population and Housing for the U.S.A. The important aspect is the overall conceptual comparability, not the precise numerical thresholds used for delineating the areas.

    Data users should use this report as a general guide to compare the census geographic areas of Canada and the United States, and should be aware that differences in settlement patterns and population levels preclude a precise one-to-one relationship between conceptually similar areas. The geographic areas compared in this report provide a framework for further empirical research and analysis.

    Release date: 1999-03-05

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013101
    Description:

    In the main body of statistics, sampling is often disposed of by assuming a sampling process that selects random variables such that they are independent and identically distributed (IID). Important techniques, like regression and contingency table analysis, were developed largely in the IID world; hence, adjustments are needed to use them in complex survey settings. Rather than adjust the analysis, however, what is new in the present formulation is to draw a second sample from the original sample. In this second sample, the first set of selections are inverted, so as to yield at the end a simple random sample. Of course, to employ this two-step process to draw a single simple random sample from the usually much larger complex survey would be inefficient, so multiple simple random samples are drawn and a way to base inferences on them developed. Not all original samples can be inverted; but many practical special cases are discussed which cover a wide range of practices.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19970013102
    Description:

    The selection of auxiliary variables is considered for regression estimation in finite populations under a simple random sampling design. This problem is a basic one for model-based and model-assisted survey sampling approaches and is of practical importance when the number of variables available is large. An approach is developed in which a mean squared error estimator is minimised. This approach is compared to alternative approaches using a fixed set of auxiliary variables, a conventional significance test criterion, a condition number reduction approach and a ridge regression approach. The proposed approach is found to perform well in terms of efficiency. It is noted that the variable selection approach affects the properties of standard variance estimators and thus leads to a problem of variance estimation.

    Release date: 1997-08-18

  • Surveys and statistical programs – Documentation: 12-001-X19960022980
    Description:

    In this paper, we study a confidence interval estimation method for a finite population average when some auxiliairy information is available. As demonstrated by Royall and Cumberland in a series of empirical studies, naive use of existing methods to construct confidence intervals for population averages may result in very poor conditional coverage probabilities, conditional on the sample mean of the covariate. When this happens, we propose to transform the data to improve the precision of the normal approximation. The transformed data are then used to make inference on the original population average, and the auxiliary information is incorporated into the inference directly, or by calibration with empirical likelihood. Our approach is design-based. We apply our approach to six real populations and find that when transformation is needed, our approach performs well compared to the usual regression method.

    Release date: 1997-01-30
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